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Bow congregation to worship at old town hall after fire at historic church

  • Water and fire damage is seen at Crossroads Community Church in Bow on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the day after lightning struck the steeple. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Water and fire damage is seen at Crossroads Community Church in Bow on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the day after lightning struck the steeple. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • Water and fire damage is seen at Crossroads Community Church in Bow on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the day after lightning struck the steeple. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

  • Water and fire damage is seen at Crossroads Community Church in Bow on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the day after lightning struck the steeple. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Crossroads Community Church in Bow is very small congregation in a very old building. Now that congregation is moving.

A fire that broke out in the steeple of the church on Tuesday will force the 20 or so parishioners to hold Sunday services at the Old Town Hall, right around the corner, while repairs are made to the historic structure.

The church on Branch Londonderry Turnpike East was built in 1832, but the congregation was formed back in 1795, according to the Rev. Richard Huntley, who referenced the book 100 acres more or less: The history of the land and people of Bow, New Hampshire by David A Bundy.

“The whole steeple was destroyed, and then there’s water damage that’s taking out a portion of the auditorium ceiling and ceiling downstairs in the preschool,” Huntley said.

The Bow fire was one of three caused by lighting strikes in the Concord area in a span of an hour, fire officials said.

The fire in the steeple was called in at the same time as a house fire in neighboring Hooksett. The nearly simultaneous fire calls – the two came in about 1:40 p.m. – were a rare occurrence and posed a challenge for area departments. About an hour earlier, Concord responded to a small attic fire after lightning struck a house on Columbus Avenue.

No one was in the church when the steeple was struck Tuesday.

“I was out of town,” said Huntley. “I was up in Laconia and I got the phone call. I had to turn around and head right back.”

Huntley said firefighters did all they could to limit the structural damage to the building.

“We appreciate all of them,” he said.

The extent of the damage is still being assessed, but there’s little hope for the projector, sound board and amplifiers located directly under the steeple. A recently installed water pump at Joyful Noise Learning Center next door was also fried and needed replacement.

Future services, held each Sunday at 10 a.m., will be held in the town’s old meeting space right next door. On Aug, 12, services will be held at the Bow Municipal Building in Room C.

(Elizabeth Frantz can be reached at efrantz@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lizfrantz.)